Stonewall 40th and Pride Unveil NYC’s Shameful Priorities

Stonewall 40th and Pride Unveil NYC’s Shameful Priorities

Written by Yasmine Farhang & Kenyon Farrow

Just months before the 40th anniversary of one of the most significant rebellions of poor and working class queer and transgender people (mostly of color), out-lesbian New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced the city’s proposal for rich gay tourists to commemorate this anniversary—shop till you drop. But for us at Queers for Economic Justice and our allies, our movement for sexual liberation is not for sale.

This announcement was made weeks after New York City refused funding to organizations that house and provide services to homeless queer youth, leaving several organizations on the brink of closing. Speaker Quinn made the City’s priorities clear when she announced that two million dollars would go to launching a gay tourism marketing campaign called Rainbow Pilgrimage. The campaign claims to commemorate the forty year anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion by imploring tourists, domestically and internationally, to connect with this proud lineage. READ THE REST HERE.

Reading Gay Pride: Queer Book Review

This year’s NYC PRIDE is filled with not so mixed emotions, and we approach the big parade here this Sunday. Yep. I am pretty much bitter all around. First, two of my favorite queer spaces are closing. 275 Grand, the best (mostly) Black, bohemian, grown and sexy, queer lounge in Clinton Hill (and the only space like it in the city) is closing its doors Friday night. And I JUST found out that Meshell Ndegeocello is playing there tonight! So I’ll be there twice before they close.

My other favorite place in the meatpacking district in Manhattan is Florent, the 24 hour eaterie, is closing this weekend as well. Florent was one of my favorite places to eat, and Florent, the man himself, was always very sweet to the customers. It will sorely be missed as well.

If you’re a grumpy, anti-capitalist, nearing middle-aged queer like myself, the June Gay Pride festivities can be really annoying — especially in New York. Because there are five boroughs, the events seem to go on forever. Rainbow striped flags, key chains and booty shorts sprout all over the city, defying the drab earth tones of your camouflage shorts and black tank top. Cheesy dance remixes of even cheesier top 40 songs drown out your reflective folk tunes. Yep, June is no bowl of organic free-trade cherries for the political queers.

What I do in these tough times, as the happy-go-lucky gays parade up and down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue this last week of June, is curl up with some good queer (non-fiction!) reading. Reading helps me get in touch with my inner, bitter queer, and I want to share some of the latest books I’m reading with my queer comrades out there who are throwing anti-Pride pity parties in our miserable little hovels across the tri-state this season. READ THE REST OF MY “READING GAY PRIDE ARTICLE” IN THIS ISSUE OF THE INDYPENDENT!!!